Iraqi Premier League 2013-14 Champions
Iraqi Premier League 2012-13 Champions

Al Shorta - الشرطة

Al Qeetharah (The Harps) - القيثارة

Taraji Wadi Al Nes 1-0 Al Shorta - 2015 AFC Cup Group B


Mohammed Hameed's terrible error condemned a poor Al Shorta side to a humiliating first defeat of the season at AFC Cup debutants Taraji Wadi Al Nes, who claimed their first ever win in an AFC competition in the process.

Al Shorta, suffering from fatigue after a long, delayed journey to Palestine, were missing goalkeeper Mohammed Gassid who was not allowed into the country due to passport issues, so Mohammed Hameed started in goal for the Iraqi champions; nobody expected that that would make such a huge difference on the outcome of the game.

Al Shorta started the game slowly, with Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Marwan Husain both failing to hit the back of the net with headers in the first-half.

Taraji Wadi Al Nes, who Al Shorta destroyed 6-2 last month in Qatar, scored the only goal of the game with seven minutes remaining when Sameeh Yousef's weak free-kick bounced towards Hameed; the 'keeper elected to try and bend down and catch the ball rather than dive to collect it and embarrassingly let it slip through his hands as the ball bounced through his legs and into the net. It was another poor mistake from the 'keeper who made a big mistake in Iraq's game with the United Arab Emirates at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup too.

Al Shorta almost equalised right at the death but Alaa saw his half-volley crash against the crossbar and the referee blew the final whistle, sparking wild celebrations from the pitch, bench and crowd as the Palestinian side claimed their first ever win in an AFC competition.

Al Shorta fully deserved the embarrassing defeat for a poor performance, and now drop down to second place behind Al Jazeera of Jordan in Group B of the AFC Cup. Although Al Shorta's near 10-month unbeaten run has come to an end, they are still favourites to win the league title having not lost a league game all season.

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Al Shorta 4-0 Al Hudod - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Reigning Iraqi League champions Al Shorta put four past lowly Al Hudod at Al Shaab Stadium, making it eleven wins from thirteen games this season in the league.

Al Shorta's top scorer Marwan Husain opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark with one of the goals of the season: a spectacular overhead kick from inside the area. Fellow Iraq international Alaa Abdul-Zahra made it two at the start of the second-half with a long-range strike that was fortunately fumbled into the net by the Al Hudod 'keeper.

Al Shorta dominated their opponents all through the game, with Brazilian substitute Caion missing a golden chance to grab his second goal of the season around the hour-mark when he fired a cut-back wide.

Young Mahdi Kamil made up for the missed opportunity by getting Al Shorta's third goal on 74 minutes with a clever, instinctive near-post finish, and stand-in captain Dhirgham Ismail scored his 19th ever goal for Al Shorta to make it 4-0, firing into the bottom-left corner of the net with six minutes of normal time remaining, seconds after Marwan Husain had missed an open-goal opportunity from Dhirgham's cut-back.

It was a comfortable game and great result for Al Shorta: the type of match that they have been used to playing this season. Al Shorta sit proudly on top of Group 2 with 35 points from 13 games, having conceded only three league goals all season. The Police have not lost a competitive match in almost ten months.

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Al Shorta 3-0 Naft Misan - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Al Shorta returned to Iraqi League action by brushing aside Naft Misan at Al Shaab Stadium, recording their second 3-0 victory over the side this season.

The champions had to wait until the 60th minute to open the scoring when Haider Salem's pinpoint cross was met by the head of Marwan Husain, who with this headed goal became Al Shorta's outright top scorer in all competitions this season, having scored eight goals so far.

Caion was subbed on during the second-half and made an instant impact, playing Ammar Abdulhusain through on goal in the 83rd minute; Ammar fired the ball in with his left foot to score his first goal for the club and double Al Shorta's lead.

Young Akram Jassim sealed the emphatic victory in the last minute, running onto the end of Caion's clever through ball and lobbing the ball over the onrushing 'keeper for his second goal of the season.

This three points ensures that Al Shorta will top Group 2 of the first stage no matter what, and the four-time champions currently have 32 points from 12 games, having not lost a single game yet this season in all competitions.

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Al Shorta 6-2 Taraji Wadi Al Nes - 2015 AFC Cup Group B


Al Shorta hit six past Palestinian club Taraji Wadi Al Nes in a 6-2 victory that puts the Iraqi champions two points clear at the top of Group B in the AFC Cup.

Both sides drew their first two games, but Taraji Wadi Al Nes were second best for the whole 90 minutes on Tuesday after travelling to Doha to face the Iraqi giants.

The rout began on twenty minutes when Dhirgham Ismail, who received the ball from a great lofted pass by the brilliant Mahdi Kamil, crossed the ball in for Alaa Abdul-Zahra to convert.

Fourteen minutes later, captain Amjad Kalaf doubled Al Shorta’s lead when he outpaced Mohammed Abu Khamis and rounded the ‘keeper before tapping the ball into the back of the net. Within 60 seconds of Amjad’s goal, Alaa had scored his second and had made it 3-0, lashing a brilliant effort into the net on the half-volley.

The 40th minute of the game saw Al Shorta concede a goal against the run of play as their complacency led to Fadi Zidan running through on goal and lobbing Mohammed Gassid in goal, but Al Shorta quickly restored their three-goal lead when another Dhirgham cross was converted, this time by Iraq international Marwan Husain.

Two minutes into the second-half, Amjad Kalaf won a penalty but Mahdi Kareem could only hit the post from twelve yards out; Al Shorta only had to wait sixteen minutes for their fifth goal though as Dhirgham evaded a number of defenders before coolly slotting the ball home in what was a fantastic solo goal.

Four minutes from time, a poor piece of defending by Salam Shakir allowed Fadi Zidan to score his second goal of the game and make it 5-2, rolling the ball through the legs of Mohammed Gassid.

But Marwan scored Al Shorta’s sixth goal in injury time when he got onto the end of Ammar Abdulhusain’s cross with his left foot.

It was a brilliant attacking performance from Al Shorta, who doubled the number of goals that they have ever scored in the AFC Cup with this victory. However, their defence still needs some work on as they conceded two poor goals to Fadi Zidan. This win will instil some much-needed confidence into the side and make them believe that they can go on to win the tournament.

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Al Jazeera 1-1 Al Shorta - 2015 AFC Cup Group B


Al Shorta conceded a sloppy goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Jordanian hosts Al Jazeera in Group B of the AFC Cup.

Just like they did in Doha against Al Hidd, Al Shorta made a great start to the game as Marwan Husain won a penalty within seven minutes which experienced international Mahdi Kareem calmly slotted home to make it 1-0.

But just five minutes later, Al Shorta’s defensive frailties were exposed once more as they conceded a ridiculous equaliser; Waleed Salem failed to intercept a through ball, inadvertently putting the ball on a plate for Al Jazeera’s Franco Alves, who twisted and turned past both Salam Shakir and Mohammed Hameed before squeezing the ball past Hameed’s near post. The defending was truly shambolic and seemed to affect the morale of the players.

The second-half was once again goalless with Al Shorta and Al Jazeera sharing possession and chances but with no end product and the game ended 1-1.

The other group game between Al Hidd and Taraji Wadi Al Nes also finished 1-1, putting all four of the teams in the group on two points after two games.

Al Shorta have now played eight AFC Cup games in their history and have drawn six of them; Al Shorta will have to turn these draws into victories very soon if they want to lift the trophy.

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Al Talaba 1-2 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


A first-half brace from in-form striker Marwan Husain saw Al Shorta overcome Al Talaba by two goals to one in an exciting affair at Al Shaab Stadium.

Al Shorta took the lead ten minutes into the game as Waleed Salem’s corner evaded three Al Talaba defenders and fell to Marwan who fired it into the top corner.

Twelve minutes later, Dhirgham Ismail’s free-kick was met by Salam Shakir whose header fell to Marwan, who slotted home from a tight angle to get his and his side’s second of the game.

Al Shorta were dominating the game, but sloppily allowed last season’s top scorer Ali Salah Hashim to grab a goal back for Al Talaba just before half-time as they failed to defend a corner properly and allowed Salah a tap-in from a couple of yards out.

Al Talaba pressed and pressed for an equaliser in the second period but the champions and group leaders Al Shorta held firm to secure their ninth win of the season which puts them on 29 points after eleven games, twelve points ahead of Baghdad S.C. with two games in hand over last season's third-placed team.

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Al Najaf 0-0 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Al Shorta have mathematically qualified for the final stage of the 2014-15 Iraqi League, despite Al Najaf holding the reigning champions to a goalless draw at An Najaf Stadium for the second straight season.

The first-half was a tense affair with very few chances created and both sides losing the ball frequently; Mahdi Kareem had the best chance of the game but his effort was saved by former Al Shorta custodian Nebras Salman.

The second-half was no different; Al Shorta manager Mohamed Youssef tried to change the game by bringing on attackers Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Ammar Abdulhusain but the outcome of the game was unaffected as the match ended 0-0.

Al Shorta are well in front of Group B with 26 points and are officially through to the next round, and the next target for Al Shorta will be to top the group unbeaten.

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Al Shorta 2-2 Al Hidd - 2015 AFC Cup Group B


Goals from Brazilian forward Rico and Jassim Ayyash cancelled out two early Al Shorta goals as Bahraini outfit Al Hidd earned a point against Iraqi champions Al Shorta in the opening matchday of the 2015 AFC Cup group stage.

Two minutes into the game, Caion won Al Shorta a penalty which right-back Waleed Salem duly converted to give Al Shorta the lead, and Amjad Kalaf doubled their lead eleven minutes later, firing Caion’s cut-back into the back of the net.

Al Shorta had got off to the perfect start and showed Asia how much of a threat they can be going forward - but also showcased their defensive liabilities as they conceded two goals in the next 33 minutes.

The 28th minute saw the first of those as Ahmed Al Khattal capitalised on Salam Shakir’s error to cross for Rico, whose tame effort found a way past Mohammed Hameed in goal.

Al Hidd equalised in first-half injury time as substitute Jassim Ayyash tapped into an open goal from a cross that had rolled underneath Hameed.

The second-half was far more subdued as neither side wanted to concede, and the game ended 2-2.

It is a disappointing result for Al Shorta who, if they are to win the AFC Cup as many fans expect them to, should be defeating a team like Al Hidd, especially with a two-goal lead.

All four teams in the group are on one point as Al Jazeera drew 1-1 with Taraji Wadi Al Nes in the other group game.

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Naft Misan 0-3 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Marwan Husain scored a first-half brace as Iraqi League champions Al Shorta produced a scintillating first-half display to outclass Naft Misan and record a resounding 3-0 victory over them at the Al Maimuna Stadium.

Young Iraq international midfielder Mahdi Kamil scored the first goal on eight minutes with what was his first goal of the season, firing the ball into the bottom-left corner from just inside the area. Striker Marwan Husain made it two-goals-to-nil fifteen minutes later when he headed in a corner from Dhirgham Ismail (who was captaining Al Shorta for the first time in the absence of Amjad Kalaf and Hussein Abdul Wahid).

The Iraq striker bagged another on 37 minutes when he was put through on goal by Mahdi Kamil's pass, firing the ball past the 'keeper at the near post to make it three.

Already three goals up, Al Shorta took it easy in the second-half, maintaining their three-goal lead until the final whistle. Al Shorta are comfortably sitting on top of Group 2 and only need a few more points to secure their passage into the final stage.

Al Shorta must now turn their attention towards the AFC Cup, with the Police kicking off their AFC Cup campaign in Qatar against Bahraini side Al Hidd on 24/02/2015.

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(Above photograph by Ammar)

Al Shorta 2-1 Baghdad S.C. - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Two goals from Alaa Abdul-Zahra helped Al Shorta defeat Baghdad S.C. for the second time in eight days to go six points ahead of them in Group 2 having played two games fewer.

Al Shorta dominated the game from start to finish, and on 13 minutes Caion believed he had opened the scoring when he fired in a great effort into the top corner, but he was adjudged to have been offside by the linesman in what was a debatable decision.

Amjad Kalaf missed a golden opportunity a few minutes later when he fired a cut-back way over the bar, before seeing another effort go wide in an attempt to score his first goal of the season.

Al Shorta broke the deadlock with 19 minutes on the clock, when Dhirgham Ismail's cross was met by Alaa Abdul-Zahra who coolly lifted it over Iraq international goalkeeper Jalal Hassan and into the net.

They continued their domination into the second-half and Caion, who had another inspired performance, almost doubled the lead when he went through on goal but his effort rolled wide. Alaa scored his second of the game on 68 minutes when Caion brilliantly brought the ball down and laid it off perfectly for Alaa to skilfully blast the ball into the bottom left corner of the net and make it two.

Baghdad S.C. were gifted a way back into the game when 'keeper Mohammed Gassid was sent off for a collision with Redha Nasrallah and Lebanese player Mohammad Fawzi tucked home the resulting penalty, but Al Shorta held on for the three points as Ahmed Fadhel, currently on loan at Baghdad S.C. from Al Shorta, received a second yellow card in the third minute of injury time and substitute Marwan Husain saw a brilliant effort saved by Jalal Hassan at the end of the game.

Al Shorta, top of Group 2, are now six points ahead of Baghdad S.C., who are in second, with Al Shorta having played eight games and Baghdad S.C. having played ten. Duhok are in third place with fifteen points from eight games (seven fewer than the Police) and Al Shorta only need to finish in the top four of the group to advance to the final stage.

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Al Minaa 0-2 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Al Shorta defeated Al Minaa 2-0 in their first game outside of Baghdad all season, as goals from Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Dhirgham Ismail succumbed Al Minaa to their second defeat against the champions in one week.

After just eight minutes, Alaa Abdul-Zahra bagged his third goal of the season, glancing a great header over the 'keeper and into the net from Mahdi Kareem's cross.

However, it was Al Minaa who had the best chances in the game, and Al Shorta had goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed to thank for keeping the scoreline at 1-0.

2015 AFC Asian Cup star Dhirgham Ismail perhaps underservedly doubled Al Shorta's lead on 70 minutes with a brilliant goal as he accompanied a bursting run into the box with a calm left-footed finish.

Al Shorta held out for the victory, and maintained their position at the top of Group 2.

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Baghdad S.C. 0-2 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


A Dhirgham Ismail penalty and Akram Jassim's first goal for Al Shorta were enough to defeat title rivals Baghdad S.C. 2-0 and leapfrog Duhok into first place in Group 2.

The first-half ended goalless, despite both sides sharing a host of good chances. Midfielder Ahmed Fadhel, currently on loan at Baghdad S.C. from Al Shorta, saw his long-range effort beat Mohammed Gassid but strike the outside of the post, whilst Al Shorta's Brazilian forward Caion saw his effort go wide and Makadji Boukar's powerful shot flew just over the bar for the champions.

Egyptian manager Mohamed Youssef took off Amjad Kalaf at the start of the second-half, replacing him with Marwan Husain, but it was right-back Waleed Salem who won a penalty for Al Shorta as he was brought down when through on goal. Dhirgham Ismail coolly stepped up and slotted it to the 'keeper's left, just as he did against Iran in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, to put Al Shorta 1-0 up on 62 minutes.

Cameroonian midfielder Makadji Boukar missed a great opportunity to double Al Shorta's lead when he was put through on goal by Mahdi Kamil, but Al Shorta did eventually find a second in the first minute of injury time when youngster Akram Jassim headed in his first goal for the club from Waleed Salem's corner.

This win sees Al Shorta go a point above Duhok at the top of Group 2, having played a game fewer.

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Al Shorta 2-1 Al Minaa - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Caion bagged his first goal for Al Shorta as the champions returned to action with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Basra club Al Minaa at Baghdad S.C. Stadium.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Caion received a pass from Dhirgham Ismail and with his left foot, he fired it across the 'keeper and into the net to put Al Shorta a goal up.

The Brazilian striker, arguably man of the match, continued his brilliant performance into the second-half and played a big part in Al Shorta's second goal on 49 minutes.

His header from captain Amjad Kalaf's cross was parried by the goalkeeper into the path of Iraq international defender Salam Shakir, who smashed the rebound into the back of the net to put the game almost beyond doubt.

Salam went from hero to villain however as his handball gifted Al Minaa an injury-time penalty, which Hussein Ali Wahid duly converted, but it was too little, too late from Al Minaa as Al Shorta moved into second place in Group 2, behind Duhok, having played fewer games than every other team in their group.

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Al Shorta 0-0 Al Naft - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Al Shorta and Al Naft played out a dull goalless draw at a near-empty Al Shaab Stadium on Sunday as Al Shorta continued their impressive run of four clean sheets out of four games.

Most of the game was played in the centre of the park, with both sides frequently losing possession and Al Shorta certainly were not on the top of their game as pass after pass failed to reach their destination. Al Naft clearly went into the game with a plan to try and deceive the referee as players frequently went down feigning injury or hoping for free-kicks or penalties and these antics slowed down the game significantly, not allowing the champions to put together any flowing attacking movements that fans have been accustomed to seeing with Al Shorta.

Al Naft wasted the biggest chance of the game in the last ten minutes, hitting the crossbar, but neither side deserved three points from the game and the two sides shared the spoils, ending Al Shorta's 100% start to the new campaign.

This result puts Al Shorta on 10 points from four games, having played fewer games than all of the other teams in their group.

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Al Hudod 0-2 Al Shorta - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Goals from Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Dhirgham Ismail saw Al Shorta ease to a 2-0 victory at Baghdad S.C. Stadium on Monday.

Al Shorta got off to the perfect start against the newly-promoted side with Alaa scoring his second goal in as many games after just three minutes, heading into the back of net after the ball was flicked on from a corner. 21 minutes later Alaa missed a great chance to double Al Shorta's lead, and the champions went into half-time a goal in front.

Al Shorta went 2-0 up on 65 minutes, with Brazilian forward Caion skipping past a defender and playing Dhirgham through on goal who showed composure to delightfully dink the ball over the on-rushing 'keeper. Al Shorta went down to ten men near the end of the game when Makadji Boukar received a second yellow card, but that did not affect the result and Al Shorta could afford a missed chance from Alaa Abdul-Zahra on 85 minutes when his effort crashed against the crossbar.

The full-time whistle blew to signify that Al Shorta had won their third game from three, conceding zero goals in the process. Their next game is against Al Naft at Al Shaab Stadium in six days' time.

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Al Shorta 1-0 Al Talaba - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Iraq international Alaa Abdul-Zahra's first competitive goal in an Al Shorta shirt saw Al Shorta overcome Al Talaba at Al Shaab Stadium in the derby.

The first chance of the game fell to Al Talaba's Usamah Ali who saw his free-kick sail just over the bar. The poor surface of the pitch at Al Shaab Stadium led to the sides playing more long balls but Al Shorta slowly began to dominate proceedings and Makadji Boukar missed two great chances either side of a Nashat effort that went wide as the champions asserted their dominance over the game.

Mohamed Youssef took off captain Nashat Akram on 58 minutes and replaced him with Alaa Abdul-Zahra, and the substitute scored the goal that won the game on 62 minutes, just after Ahmed Ayad's powerful shot had smashed the crossbar. Al Shorta had won a corner which was swung in and met by the head of Marwan Husain. As the ball was looping towards the line, Alaa out-muscled a number of Al Talaba players to nod the ball into the net and open the scoring for the champions. Substitute Caion blazed over for Al Shorta from close range towards the end of the game before Mohamed Youssef brought on defender Ali Bahjat to replace striker Marwan Husain as the Police saw out the game and made it two wins from two in the Iraqi League.

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Al Shorta 2-0 Al Najaf - 2014-15 Iraqi Premier League Group 2


Marwan Husain scored on his debut for Al Shorta as the champions started the new season with a win against Al Najaf.

The lack of action in the first-half at Baghdad S.C. Stadium could perhaps be explained by the fact that Al Shorta hadn't played a league game since June but by the second-half they were well in the game and new striker Marwan opened the scoring on 62 minutes when he skilfully chested down Mahdi Kamil's lofted ball in the box and finished past the 'keeper.

Ten minutes later, Al Shorta doubled their lead to put the result beyond doubt. Marwan saw his effort parried by the 'keeper, and headed the ball back towards goal where Dhirgham Ismail nodded the ball into the net.

It was a great win for the four-time Iraqi League champions who will face Al Talaba at Al Shaab Stadium in their next game.

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